February 4, 2012

Day 32 : Part 2 - Out and about in Le Marais (again!)

Because I clearly loved it the first time around, I decided to spend another weekend exploring more of Le Marais! and let me just say that each time I come here, I fall more and more in love with the old charm and character of this neighborhood... Hopefully by the end of this blog post, you'll see why :-)

For your viewing pleasure, I've decided to share a few great finds from my afternoon stroll today... Of all of them, I'd have to say that, by far, my favorite highlight would have to be Place des Vosges! For my history buffs out there, you'll be intrigued to hear that this beautiful Parisian oasis happens to be the oldest planned square in Paris!

Bienvenue au Marais. Pavillon du Roi. Love the architecture. | Rue de Birague, 3e arrondissement

Place des Vosges  | 3e arrondissement

Being the nerdy little me, I've always been fascinated about hearing the stories behind people, places, and things--and so  after I came home tonight, of course, I had to give myself some fun, extra little homework to brush up on my Jeopardy trivia about this place :-) Quite an interesting story indeed--I must say reading up on its background definitely brought the beautiful old square more back to life!

Admittedly, many times at school I've been called the "Queen of All Nerds." So, rather than bore many of you with a full history lesson on what I learned about Place des Vosges today, I shall resist the temptation and leave my fellow nerds to rely on my best friend Mr. Wikipedia to educate you all. Meanwhile, without any further delay, I'll let the rest of you go on and enjoy my visual delights below :-)

Statue de Louis XIII | Place des Vosges 

Pavillon de la Reine. Il fait du soleil! | Place des Vosges 

If only it wasn't winter, I'd spend my weekends reading here... | Place des Vosges 

 Hmm, I've noticed that the French love to trim all their trees flat... | Place des Vosges 

 Maison de Victor Hugo in the far corner. | Place des Vosges 

Arcardes lining the park. Feel like I've travelled back in time... | Place des Vosges 

A few more lucky gems I came across this afternoon!

To start with, this cool concept store Merci, which my sister actually told me about a few years ago. Tucked away in a courtyard off Boulevard Beaumarchais, this lovely, quirky magasin solidaire was launched awhile back by the founders of chic children's brand Bonpoint and would be what I'd describe as the perfect one-stop shop for cool little things to make life more fun :-)

Merci  | 3e arrondissement

J'adore cette voiture rouge! | Merci

Inside you'll find a delightful selection of books, fashion, shoes, kitchen accessories, furniture, bikes, etc.--all artfully displayed to tempt even the most casual window-shopper to come in and take a peek :-) The best part about this store, though, is that 100% of profits from your purchases at Merci all go to charities! Hmm, now with a good cause like that, how can you resist indulging in some retail therapy?!

Day 32 : Part 1 - Reason No. 846 Why I love Paris!

After a week in hibernation, I finally decided to come out and play today, and let me just say what a terrific day I chose indeed! Not only was the sun shining bright with blue skies here in Paris, but I also came across this lovely surprise as I was heading into the Paris metro at Trocadéro this afternoon...

Now, when was the last time you saw a 10-piece string orchestra in the New York subway?! What makes this even more perfect is the fact they played my all-time favorite classical piece, Pachelbel's Canon. Ah, oui, it definitely feels good to be in Paris :-)

February 3, 2012

Day 25-31 : Je suis malade...

Bonjour mes amis! Oui, I'm still alive!!

So sorry I've been MIA this past week, but unfortunately I've been terribly sick :-( Silly as it might sound, I actually bit my tongue while napping last week and did not take it easy over the weekend as I should have. Ended up paying for it this week as I could no longer eat, talk... or even laugh with the excruciating pain :-( In the end, I was forced not to talk and go on a liquids-only diet, which I must say is torture here in Paris with all the delicious boulangeries and pâtisseries taunting me on every street corner! Good news, though--after two days of rest, happy to say it looks like I'm finally on my way to a speedy recovery :-)

Now that I'm starting to feel a lot better, I guess it's safe to return to the scene of the crime and share with you my little guilty pleasure last Sunday that was partially to blame for the pain I later suffered this week...

Ladurée |  Champs-Élysées, 8e arrondissement 

Yes, that's right. Ladurée. Bored out of my mind and with almost every place closed on Sunday in Paris, I couldn't think of any other place to better entertain myself than Ladurée on the Champs-Élysées :-) Admittedly, this isn't first, second, or even third time I've been here... Nevertheless, I thought I'd come back anyway and check it out again for the millionth time. Why you ask? Well, because we all know Ladurée is one of the best pâtisseries in town! and frankly, with all the yummy desserts on display, seriously, how can you ever say "No?"

Grand entrance @ Ladurée |  Champs-Élysées, 8e arrondissement

Hmm, wondering what's inside the green bag? Well, if you guessed macarons... Haha, you're wrong!

Trés jolie! | Ladurée 

I know, I know... I always come to chez Ladurée for the maracons, and I must confess that's the only thing I've tried on their menu. However, what few seem to realize (except the local Parisians themselves) is that Ladurée also makes one of the best religieuses in town! I came across this interesting fact while browsing through my foodie blogs earlier on Sunday and decided I had to taste it for myself...